This is so funny and timely. Yesterday, several colleagues alerted me to an LA Times story which was also reprinted in the Chicago Tribune and other outlets. My dear friends th0ught they were somehow “sticking it to me” with this news report alleging that climate scientists were fed up and were now launching a campaign to battle the lunatic AGW skeptics (like me). Of course, my response was that if the climate warming activists had the science to back their claims there would be no need to campaign against any group. Science speaks for itself and will always win the day. Gravity scientists never have to campaign against gravity skeptics—even if they existed.
Well, lo and behold, the American Geophysical Union, which was claimed in the article to be spearheading the campaign, is doing no such thing. Apparently, in response to the news reports, their phone has been ringing off the hook with angry calls from the public and today they issued this press release.
Inaccurate news reports misrepresent a climate-science initiative of the American Geophysical Union
AGU Release No. 10–37
8 November 2010
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON—An article appearing in the Los Angeles Times, and then picked up by media outlets far and wide, misrepresents the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a climate science project the AGU is about to relaunch. The project, called Climate Q&A Service, aims simply to provide accurate scientific answers to questions from journalists about climate science.
“In contrast to what has been reported in the LA Times and elsewhere, there is no campaign by AGU against climate skeptics or congressional conservatives,” says Christine McEntee, Executive Director and CEO of the American Geophysical Union. “AGU will continue to provide accurate scientific information on Earth and space topics to inform the general public and to support sound public policy development.”
AGU is the world’s largest, not-for-profit, professional society of Earth and space scientists, with more than 58,000 members in over 135 countries.
“AGU is a scientific society, not an advocacy organization,” says climate scientist and AGU President Michael J. McPhaden. “The organization is committed to promoting scientific discovery and to disseminating to the scientific community, policy makers, the media, and the public, peer-reviewed scientific findings across a broad range of Earth and space sciences.”
AGU initiated a climate science Q&A service for the first time in 2009 to provide accurate scientific information for journalists covering the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. AGU has been working over the past year on how to provide this service once again in association with the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico.
AGU’s Climate Q&A service addresses scientific questions only. It does not involve any commentary on policy. Journalists are able to submit questions via email, and AGU member-volunteers with Ph.D.s in climate science-related fields provide answers via email.
The relaunch of the Climate Q&A service is pending. When AGU is ready to announce the service, we will notify journalists on our distribution list via a media advisory that the service is once again available for their use.